The Art of Mindful Drinking

When I was growing up, my French-born mother sipped wine freely and daily. I can picture her in the kitchen, stirring a bubbly cassoulet in a dark blue enamel pot, preparing a plate of cheeses, churning the pepper mill — with a glass in hand or waiting close by. A habitual part of her cooking process, wine was also served at every evening meal. Long, narrow, green-tinted bottles with strangely spelled words were as much of a staple in our fridge as a container of milk.

Drinking was part of her culture, and a seemingly harmless one. But later in life, my mother started using wine as a way to escape, numbing herself from demons past and transitions present. I realized then that I didn’t ever want to become a person who relied on drinking, for anything.